Case Studies and Observations- 18 Marker

1284 Words6 Pages
Describe case studies and observations used in psychology and evaluate them in terms of generalisability and validity. (18) In psychology case studies are used to study one unique individual or small group in depth. There are many methods used, such as observations, questionnaires, interviews and experiments which collect a range of qualitative data; information that is in depth and detailed using words and opinions. Quantitative data is also used to collect more statistical, numerical data. The use of these two types of data collection means the case studies are very in depth and detailed. This means psychologist can gain a detailed source of data. However, due to the fact that it is a case study the results cannot be replicated on subsequent occasions. Triangulation is analysing data gathered by different means such as questionnaires and interviews in case studies and developing themes. In case studies there is an aim rather than a hypothesis like an experiment has, which indicates what the psychologist intend to find out and the reason for their investigations. Case studies are also often used to help individuals through a longitudinal study, where the research was collect over a space of time. For example, in the case of Genie, the aim was to try and develop as an individual and protect her from further psychological harm. Whereas in an experiment null, one-tailed or two-tailed hypotheses are made to predict conclusions. Freud used a variety of qualitative methods of data collection, such as, free association, dream analysis and slips of the tongue to uncover unconscious desires, often including death and sexual references. Frauds techniques where not only used as a research method but also as a therapy to help people who have undergone domestic abuse or other disruptive childhood damage. Covert observations are when the researcher pretends to be an
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